New Archdeacon of Tonbridge announced

First published on: 2nd November 2021

We are pleased to announce that the Rev Sharon Copestake is to be the next Archdeacon of Tonbridge. Sharon is currently the vicar of St Francis, Strood and Area Dean of Strood.

Read Bishop Simon's message to the Diocese below.


Dear Sisters and Brothers 
I am pleased to say that I have invited the Reverend Sharon Copestake to be the next Archdeacon of Tonbridge. 
Sharon is currently the Vicar of St Francis, Strood and Area Dean of Strood and this announcement was made in her parish earlier today. 
I am grateful to all those who were involved in the discernment process at different points and for the time they freely gave in the midst of complicated and busy lives. 
Sharon has been at St Francis since 2015 and prior to ordination held a number of roles, including within the Strategic Development Directorate of Kent County Council, and Counsellor and Therapist in private practice and at the Wisdom Hospice. 
There will be a service of licensing for Sharon at St Stephen’s, Tonbridge on Sunday 16 January 2022 at 3pm, with further details of this and other aspects of her welcome to follow. 

Following her appointment, Sharon says: 

"I am thrilled to have been asked to be the next Archdeacon of Tonbridge in these exciting, if challenging times.

"I am very much looking forward to getting to know the people and clergy of the Archdeaconry, and hopeful that we can build good and strong working relationships that honour the mission of God and the ministry of his people.

"I will be holding you all in my prayers, and do ask that you pray for Graeme and myself, and our girls, as we make our transition over the next few months."

Sharon will arrive in post a good number of weeks before Paul Wright retires as Archdeacon of Bromley and Bexley, as you are probably aware.

Our hope is that the next Bishop of Rochester, once known, will be able to take an active lead in the replacement of Paul and we will put in place interim support for Bromley and Bexley in the meantime.  More to follow in due course on that one. 
As we make steps out of the pandemic, both confident and faltering, let’s trust that God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ and surprise us with signs of the Holy Spirit’s ceaseless and graceful work in the lives of individual people and local communities. 
Please pray for Sharon and her family as they make their own transition and join with others in the pursuit of this belief. 


Bishop of Tonbridge


A bit more about Sharon

After graduating from Coventry University with a degree in Economic Development with Planning, Sharon spent several years in social research before working in Strategic Economic Development at Kent County Council during which time she was also licensed as a Reader.

After primarily working in cross-sector partnerships, Sharon moved to the third sector and developed a local multi-agency project in a challenging part of Sittingbourne/Swale.

After she had her children, Sharon retrained as a counsellor and therapist before training for ordained ministry at SEITE. Having served her title post at SS Philip & James Chatham, gaining a post grad in Ordained Ministry, she became incumbent at St Francis Church Strood (2015), and Area Dean of Strood (2017).

Privacy Notice | Powered by Church Edit